by Amy Hunter
Taking chances, making change are exciting and powerful moments. But change is often very uncomfortable, sometimes downright scary. In listening to women’s inspirational stories of change, risk, and determination to create a better life, I realized that the following four steps helped them stay on course.
Define and believe in your purpose
We all experience mental and physical push back and resistance to change, it’s part of the package. You know, that feeling of nausea, the shrinking, heavy shoulders when we are overwhelmed, afraid we are in over our heads. To move through this and shift into action, it is essential to get clear on your purpose.
Defining what you want out of life and why you are taking this risk, becomes a driving force in moving you to take action and step forward. Being deeply committed to creating something new for yourself, your family, or your career is powerful.
For some women, their physical safety was in jeopardy and the drive to live in peace fueled them into action. For others it was a need to create a better future with more opportunity. Regardless of the reason, the desire for something more was stronger than the pull for keeping the status quo.
Dive in, no wading
Once they decided to go after a new job, or new life, they did not straddle the past and future, they jumped in towards what they wanted. When they made the decision to leave their job, country or relationship, there was no going back; no returning to the safe and familiar – the only option was to move toward the new and uncomfortable.
This served them well, because when the going got tough (and for many, it got really tough), they felt a deep sense of responsibility to make things work and going forward toward the change was the only choice.
You are stronger than you think
When facing big challenges we hope courage shows up and that we can draw on our strengths to get us through. Interestingly while the women shared stories that demanded real belief in themselves, they were surprised by their own perseverance and persistence to staying the course.
I think it ’s true that we don’t know how strong we are until we are in the face of our hardest moments.. Taking time to learn from these moments and create awareness of the strengths we have, can help us face new challenges in the future. Knowing what strength looks like, feels like, will enable us to draw on it, to call it up when we are facing new challenges.
You are not alone
Whether it was financial help, shelter, friendship, therapy or mentoring, asking for help was key to successfully moving through change. Going it alone can make staying on the path overwhelming and lonely. Yet, when we ask for help, we open the door to new possibilities and we may even discover others feel same way.
Taking chances to pursue your vision, to go after a dream or make change for a better future is challenging, but it’s really all part of living a full life.
So get clear on what you really want out of life and cannon ball into the pool. Take note of when your strength is showing up and when you need to ask for help. Make sure to take the time to celebrate all that courage and tenacity it takes to ride the course of change.